Boy Scouts changes name to Scouts BSA to attract girls

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The Boy Scouts, a program for 11- to 17-year-old boys, will be open to girls as of next winter. (WLS)

In an effort to attract girls, the Boy Scouts announced Wednesday that they changing their name to Scouts BSA starting next year.

The scouts, a program for 11- to 17-year-old boys, will be open to girls as of next winter. However, the parent organization will still be called Boys Scouts of America.

"Parents have been asking us for years now. They have been bringing their girls to our events, we have seen it we have heard from them, they want something they can all do together so this is our response, to open up our programs to the entire family," said Kate Jacobs, of Boy Scouts of America.

The organization's point is that character development programs are more needed than ever.

"When we grow our movement we know that we are serving and impacting more kids. And we know that programs that these kids are involved in help them succeed now and throughout their lives yeah we absolutely want to grow the program," Jacobs said.

But not everyone is happy.

The Girl Scouts of America, which like Boy Scouts, has seen a drop in membership over the last five years.

"We have been the experts for girls for over 100 years and we have designed programs and environments where girls thrive and they have been specifically designed for girls, versus we are not just accommodating girls," said Nancy Wright, CEO of Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago.

National girl scout leaders have said they were blind-sided by the Boy Scouts incursion, but Wright won't go that far.

Wright said that the boy scouts and girls scouts are different, noting that the girl scouts "are focused on how girls learn and develop."
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